Galveston suit blames Rhino ATV for boy's injuries from rollover

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Feb. 18, 2009, 5:17pm

Yamaha Rhino ATV

GALVESTON – A Santa Fe couple is seeking $3 million in damages from Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. after their son was injured in a Rhino ATV rollover more than a year ago.

Warren and Terry Aldous filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brandon Aldous against Yamaha and numerous other businesses, including Altus, Okla.-based Altus Motorsports, in Galveston County District Court on Feb. 4.

Court papers say Brandon Aldous was riding a doorless Yamaha Rhino ATV near his parents' residence on June 2, 2007, when the vehicle rolled over as the boy made a turn.

Brandon was pinned underneath the ATV, but his mother and a neighbor were able to pull him out. The boy was then taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where physicians determined he suffered severe injuries to his left leg.

"Brandon has suffered significant trauma to his leg," the suit says. "The plaintiff remains with serious permanent injuries and impairments."

The plaintiffs claim Brandon was wearing a belt at the time of the accident.

The suit lists many counts of wrongdoing against the defendants including but not limited to defective design, failure to warn, defective marketing, negligence, and fraud.

In addition, the suit chronicles a litany of alleged problems with the Rhino between 2004 and 2007.

The parents allege Brandon Aldous became physically incapacitated and emotionally distressed because of the incident.

"As a direct and proximate result of the said negligence and carelessness of the defendants, and each of them, the plaintiff was made sick, sore, lame, and disabled, and was caused to and did suffer and sustain serious injuries," the suit states.

"The plaintiff has suffered severe and excruciating pain and distressing mental anguish as a result of said injuries, and the plaintiff has also suffered general shock and trauma as a result of the said negligence and carelessness of the defendants, and each of them."

Represented by San Antonio attorney Daniel E. Serna, the Aldouses demand restitution for medical care and expenses, losses of consortium and household services, and the boy's altered physical and mental states.

They also request a jury trial.

Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0151

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